The upcoming BMW X3 M40i has not only been spotted again in South Carolina, but it has also dropped from camouflage to reveal more of its design details. The prototype features the M Performance brake set with the blue piston calipers, as well as a new recessed exhaust finishers. Also, one could spot new underbody “Shark Fin” aero bits under the front fascia.

Based on BMW’s new CLAR (Cluster Architecture) platform, the new BMW X3 will be longer, wider and roomier on the inside, while also being lighter and stiffer. It will also come with new engine options, ranging from the new B48 2.0 liter turbo-four to the B58 3.0 liter turbo inline-six. The latter will likely be what’s powering the upcoming X3 M40i variant.

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Expect horsepower to be in between the 355 hp of the X4 M40i to about 400 hp, but likely closer to the former. That engine will be mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox, but a manual option is probably unlikely. xDrive all-wheel drive is also almost guaranteed to be standard.

READ ALSO: BMW X3 M – Spy Photos


The most important opponent on the scale of development is the Porsche Macan which is currently the undisputed champion in driving dynamics among compact SUVs.

BMW will launch the third generation X3 in 2017.

 [Photos: Palbay]